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Insects and Germs.

Algae

Gore says, “We are changing the chemistry of our oceans in many ways, all over the world. As a result, there are many new ‘dead zones’ devoid of ocean life. Some are caused by the appearance of algae blooms in warmer waters fed by pollution coming from human activities on the shore. Many of these algae blooms have grown to spectacular and totally unprecedented levels in several places. In the Baltic Sea, for example, many resorts had to be closed in the summer of 2005 as a result of algae. Florida’s red tide represents a similar phenomenon.”

And he says “Algae is just one of the disease vectors that have been increasing because of global warming.”

Global warming is not the major factor in either the blue-green Baltic Sea algae or the Florida red tides.

A major cause of blue-green algae blooms in the Baltic is the nutrients from agricultural runoff and sewage. In March 2006, an international panel of experts, commissioned by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, issued a report in which the experts were “extremely concerned and surprised that little or no significant progress has been made by the Baltic countries, in aggregate, to reduce riverine P (phosphorus) loading of the Baltic over the last 30 years.”  Salinity and wind conditions also play a big part.

Donald Boesch, Robert Hecky, Charles O’Melia, Chair, David Schindler, Sybil Seitzinger, Eutrophication of the Swedish Seas, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Final Report (Report 5509), Stockholm 13 March 2006.

There is evidence that red tides have always existed in Florida’s waters.

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Frequently Asked Questions about the 2005 Offshore Benthic Mortality Event and Red Tide.

http://www.floridamarine.org/features/view_article.asp?id=25888#q17

Of course the more people who move to Florida the more they will come into contact with the red tide. Between 1980 and 2003, Florida’s coastal population grew by 75%.

See NOAA, National Overview of Coastal Development.

And is projected by grow by 226%

See Congressional Research Service, Oceans and Coastal Resources Briefing Book, CRS Report 97-588 ENR

there will no doubt be more interaction between people and the red tides but it won’t be due to the global warming effects.

Just because there are more tick borne diseases and the world is getting warmer does not mean global warming increases tick born diseases. Using the correlation is causation logic one could just as easily say that global warming is caused by tick born diseases!

During 1980 to 2000, temperature increases contributed to a “clear decrease” in the habitat of four tick species in South Africa.

See Estrada-Peña, A. 2003. Climate change decreases habitat suitability for some tick species (Acari: Ixodidae) in South Africa. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 70: 79-93.

reviewed by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V6/N44/C3.jsp

One study has shown that there does not appear to be even a correlation between climate and tick born diseases. In fact it showed that the increasing deer population was correlated to the increase in tick born diseases. i.e. more deer more ticks

See Randolph, S. 2004. Evidence that climate change has caused "emergence" of tick-borne diseases in Europe? International Journal of Medical Microbiology 293, Supplement 37 : 5-15. reviewed by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.

Mosquitoes

Gore says, “In Kenya, also on the Equator, I heard growing concerns about the increased threat from mosquitoes and the diseases they can transmit in higher altitudes that were formerly too cold for them to inhabit.”

Malaria outbreaks were common in such northerly climes as Minnesota, Canada, Britain, Scandinavia, and Russia during the 19th century, when average global temperatures were cooler than today. The resurgence of malaria in some developing countries is chiefly due to decreased spraying of homes with DDT, anti-malarial drug resistance, and incompetent public health programs, not to any ascertainable changes in climate.

See Reiter, P. 2001. Climate change and mosquito-borne disease. Environmental Health Perspectives 109: 141-161.

Also Roberts, D.R., L.L. Laughlin, P. Hsheih, and L.J. Legters. 1997. DDT, Global Strategies, and a Malaria Control Crisis in South America. Emerging Infectious Diseases Vol. 3. No. 3.

and Hay, S.I., J. Cox, D.J. Rogers, S.E. Randolf, D.I. Stern, G.D. Shanks, M.F. Myers, R.W. 2002. Climate Change and the Resurgence of malaria in the East African Highlands. Nature 21: 905-909; Shanks, G.D. S.I. Hay, D.I. Stern, K. Biomndo, R.W. Snow. 2002. Meteorological Influences on Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria in the Highland Tea Estates of Kericho, Western Kenya. Emerging Infectious Diseases Vol. 8, No. 12: 1404-1408.

In any case there are more cost effective methods for dealing with malaria for example then by adopting costly CO2 gas reducing methods.

See Goklany, I. Climate Change and Malaria. 2004. Science 306: 57.

Gore says, “Some 30 so-called new diseases have emerged over the last 30 years. And some old diseases that had been under control are now surging again.”

Although be doesn’t say global warming is to blame the inference is there but he offers no evidence.

Gore says “One example is the West Nile virus, which entered the United States on the eastern shore of Maryland in 1999 and within two years crossed the Mississippi. Two years after that, West Nile spread all the way across the continent.”

Even though it is mosquitoes that are the transmitters of the West Nile virus it was more likely that the rapid spread was via birds and not as a result of global warming. The rapid spread of a disease by birds is one of the key factors that make a avian flu pandemic so worrisome to the World Health Organization. In fact the speed with which West Nile spread in the U.S. and Canada would tend to indicate that global warming was probably not responsible. A virus that was sensitive to climate would not have spread so far or so fast given the fact that there are so many major climate types on the North American continent. These include tropical in Florida, arctic in Alaska and northern Canada, semi-desert in the Great Plains west of the Mississippi River, and desert in the Great Basin of the southwest. This is a temperature and moisture range that dwarfs any small change that may be attributed to the effect of greenhouse gasses.

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